Monday, July 6, 2015


When looking for photographs to illustrate the color violet, I was struck by how difficult it was. I found about 30, looked at them all, and realized that I didn’t have a clue about which one(s) were really violet.

Some of the pictures were very pale, some vivid, some bluish, some reddish, some a brilliant purple, etc. Which ones should I pick for this post?

So I did an online search for the color violet . . .

Wikipedia had this to say, which I thought was pertinent:

“Violet and purple look very similar; but violet is a true color, with its own wavelength on the spectrum of visible light, while purple is a composite color, made by combining blue and red.”

The colors in the first grid (a public domain image) can all be referred to as violet, but the colors in the second grid (also a public domain image), with a much redder vibrancy to them, are purple.

I’m not going to be this picky in future ROYGBIV postings, but I thought it was interesting to try to nail down the color violet and to realize that a lot of the photos I’d chosen were screamingly purple. I’m not particularly concerned about color accuracy, but I do think it’s important that we are at least aware of color differences and how we use them in our work.

©Carol Leigh
 All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you!

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